Predictions about the Internet of Things (IoT), can be lofty, uncertain and abstract, so we’ve compiled 50 tangible applications of current IoT technology in 10 major industries:
- IoT in Agriculture
- Smart Retail
- Industrial IoT
- Smart Infrastructure
- Smart Buildings
- IoT Wearables
- Automotive IoT
- Smart Transportation
- Smart Home
- Smart Healthcare
Even if your industry isn’t mentioned in this list, it will be significantly affected – if your company uses the Internet, it’s going to use the Internet of things. Here are those applications to use for inspiration:
IoT in Agriculture
The smart agriculture market is predicted to grow to $11.23B by 2022 and $15.3B by 2025. Key IoT applications include smart greenhouses, agricultural drones, precision agriculture, automation/robotics, and livestock monitoring.
What is a Smart Greenhouse?
Greenhouse farming increases crop yield by controlling environmental parameters like light, temperature, air pressure, and humidity. IoT helps by adding remote-controlled sensors and actuators that allow farmers to remotely monitor their greenhouse’s conditions and update its behavior. When combined with artificial intelligence, IoT technology can even complete the necessary tasks itself (turn on lights, control a heater, open a window, etc).
Benefits of Smart Greenhouses
The smart greenhouse market alone is projected to grow to $1.2B by 2020 and $2.28B by 2023. For farmers, IoT greenhouses will:
Smart Greenhouse Examples
If you’re looking for a smart greenhouse, look no further:
- Emerald Kingdom Greenhouse offers fully-automated greenhouses, along with a mobile app so growers can monitor and adjust their greenhouse’s microclimate remotely.
- Illuminum Greenhouses uses solar-powered IoT sensors to monitor greenhouse metrics, notify the farmer of important information through SMS alerts, and carry out automatic irrigation.
- Growlink monitors operational data to increase crop quality and yield, and also includes automated planning, controlling and tracking.
- Automated watering systems like Goldoon learn about specific plant watering needs and adjust their water levels accordingly.
What is an IoT Agricultural Drone?
Drones are unmanned aerial vehicles that can access the airspace above growing fields with an ease previously impossible or prohibitively expensive. These agricultural drones can help farmers monitor fields by taking pictures of the crops and delivering important payloads like seeds, water, and crop sprays.
Benefits of IoT Agricultural Drones
Aerial pictures can reveal patterns not apparent at eye level, such as soil variation, irrigation issues, and even pest/fungal infestations. These images can even be taken in infrared, which can show valuable information invisible to the naked eye. This data can provide important insights on plant health, plant height, plant counting, and yield prediction.
Additionally, a drone’s results are real-time, so a grower can get actionable, field-level same-day information, an impressive level of immediacy and convenience for the industry.
Drones have also been known to lower costs via systems that reduce planting costs by up to 85% and precision spraying drones that decrease pesticide needs.
Compared to most farm equipment, drones are extremely affordable, often paying for themselves within a single growing season (or even the first half).
Examples of IoT Agricultural Drones
- PrecisionHawk uses drones like the PrecisionHawk Lancaster to gather data for imaging, mapping, and surveying agricultural land.
- BioCarbon and DroneSeed are both developing drones that can fire seeds into the ground at optimized locations.
- DJI produces the Agras MG-1, a crop-spraying drone that can hold 10 liters of herbicide, pesticide, or fertilizer, and spray seven acres per hour while maintaining the correct distance from crops and an even coverage of spray.
What is IoT Precision Agriculture?
IoT precision agriculture makes farming more accurate and controlled through increasingly precise sensors and control systems. These include monitors for weather, soil, air quality, temperature, precipitation, crop maturity, and animal health as well as actuators for variable rate technology, which lets a farmer control the amount of input they apply in each specific location.
Benefits of IoT Precision Agriculture
The precision agriculture market is expected to reach $43.4B by 2025 through IoT applications that:
Examples of IoT Precision Agriculture
- Cropx uses sensors to help farmers better understand their water usage.
- CropMetrics specializes in variable rate irrigation through its customizable cloud software that automatically optimizes irrigation scheduling.
- Arable and Semios both help farmers monitor their crops – Arable provides an analytics platform for both weather and plant information while Semios specializes in real-time information on plant health.
- allMETEO’s weather sensors provide smarter crop management through weather notifications, including information on preventive measures to protect plants.
- Farmapp offers an Integrated Pest Management system, including sensors, monitoring, and fumigation.
Agricultural automation and robotics
What is IoT-Enabled Agricultural Automation and Robotics?
Agricultural automation and robotics use Internet-connected machines to replace human labor during crop growing and harvesting. These machines use IoT-coordinated computer vision and machine intelligence to complete tasks that previously required human labor.
Benefits of IoT-Enabled Agricultural Automation and Robotics
Robots are typically faster and more precise than humans, leading to significant time savings and crop yield increases. They can also decrease labor costs and help to ease the nation’s current severe agriculture labor shortage issues that are forecasted to worsen.
Examples of IoT-Enabled Agricultural Automation and Robotics
What is Smart Livestock Monitoring?
IoT allows farmers to attach sensors to their animals that track location, well being, and even animal health. The farmer can then monitor their herd in real-time and receive alerts for important situations.
Benefits of Smart Livestock Monitoring
Smart livestock implementations have been shown to:
In general, IoT improves the livestock farming experience at every step along the way:
Examples of Smart Livestock Monitoring
- Cowlar and Allflex use collar tags to amalgamate insights on bovine activity, health, temperature, and nutrition on both the individual- and herd-level. These can optimize milking and boost reproduction success while reducing labor costs.
- Moocall helps monitor pregnant cows and notify farmers before birth, eliminating up to 7% of calving deaths.
- CattleWatch remotely monitors the location and health of livestock through collars and ear tags, even broadcasting alerts if it detects poachers or predators.
With 80% of retailers already having an allocated budget for IoT, the smart retail market is expected to grow to $94.4B by 2025. IoT applications in retail include smart shelves, automated checkout, robot employees, supply chain management, and enhanced customer experiences.
What are Smart Shelves?
Smart shelves include IoT sensors built into retail shelves. These sensors can gather data from tags on items or their packaging and communicate it to the store or directly to shoppers.
Benefits of Smart Shelves
Smart Shelves have been shown to:
Examples of Smart Shelves
- Instead of using paper price labels, the Kroger EDGE displays prices, nutritional data, advertisements, videos, and coupons, allowing for easily-updated prices and even personalized customer discounts.
- Walmart previously partnered with Gillette to create a smart shelf system that notified store managers of thefts.
- AWM’s SmartShelf uses optical sensors and edge displays to showcase pricing and transmit data about inventory levels. It can also recognize demographic information about customers, such as their gender, age, and ethnicity, in order to deliver targeted marketing content.
- Coca-Cola is currently testing a facial recognition-enabled smart shelf.
What is IoT-Enabled Automated Checkout?
Thanks to IoT sensors that charge shoppers automatically, stores are now able to upgrade from the standard cashier-scanning-barcode method of checkout. Some IoT-enabled automated checkout systems pair video cameras with computer vision and AI to associate shoppers with items, while others embed RFID tags in product packaging.
Benefits of IoT-Enabled Automated Checkout:
Automated checkout can reduce cashier staff requirements by up to 75%, resulting in annual savings of $150B billion.
In addition to the cost savings, automated checkout systems can avoid human error and even prevent shrinkage: while a thief may be able to fool store personnel by hiding an item under their shirt, IoT checkout systems are less easily tricked.
Examples of IoT-Enabled Automated Checkout
- Amazon’s automated checkout system, used in their Amazon Go convenience stores, uses image recognition technology to associate items with customers. A customer scans their phone as they walk in, then picks up items throughout the store and simply walks out – automatically charged by the store as they leave. There’s even some speculation as to whether Amazon will add the technology to its recently acquired Whole Foods stores.
- Caper Lab has a smart self-checkout cart that implements image recognition, sensors, and the Amazon Go AI so customers can pick up items from shelves and scan them as they drop into the cart.
What are Smart Robot Employees?
Robotics specializes in replacing repetitive tasks, a categorization that applies to half of all retail jobs. By connecting these robots to other IoT devices and the Internet, retail establishments can train machines to join the workforce.
Benefits of Smart Robot Employees
Smart robot employees have been used to:
Examples of Smart Robot Employees:
Supply Chain Management
What is Smart Supply Chain Management?
A supply chain is the system of coordinating goods from initial manufacturing all the way to retail sale. By adding IoT monitoring technology to track traits like location, physical orientation, and damage, retailers can have increased confidence they’ll have the right items in the right condition at the right time.
Benefits of Smart Supply Chain Management
IoT-enabled supply chain management can lower delivery lead time, increase confidence in manufacturing quality, and even perform automatic reordering. IoT technology can improve supply chain practices at every single step along the way:
Examples of Smart Supply Chain Management:
- Zebra’s tracking technology provides real-time visibility into people and products – whether they’re in-store, in-transit, or in-warehouse.
- Tive provides real-time information on the condition of shipped goods, including information on tilt, vibration, and shock. This can give retailers an early warning that allows them to reorder broken goods faster and implement new strategies to avoid similar product damage in future.
Enhanced Customer Experience
What is IoT-Enhanced Customer Experience?
Through personalized messages, item monitoring, and computer vision, retailers can use IoT to better pinpoint individual customer desires. For example, a bluetooth-powered location proximity sensor called a beacon allows stores to communicate with specific customers in a targeted location.
Benefits of IoT-Enhanced Customer Experience:
According to Verizon, over 85% of retailers who have implemented IoT have seen improved insights into customer preferences, so it’s no wonder that 70% of retailers are expected to implement IoT devices to enhance customer experience by 2021. These enhancements could come in the form of:
These strategies seem to work: over 70% of customers say beacon-triggered content increased their likelihood to purchase in-store.
Examples of IoT-Enhanced Customer Experience:
- Macy’s has been using beacons nationwide since 2014 to provide special events, discounts, or other reminders to customers.
- High-end clothing retailer Neiman Marcus has seen success with its IoT smart mirrors that help with fit, search for other sizes/colors, or even suggest companion items.
- Clothing designer Rebecca Minkoff has seen similar success with its smart dressing rooms, using the gathered data to understand customer styles and develop new strategies to convert customers from “try” to “buy.”
Industrial IoT is expected to grow to $933B by 2025, and is impressive enough to have received its own categorizing acronym, the Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT). IIoT technological applications include asset monitoring & optimization, industrial automation, energy management, predictive maintenance, and supply chain optimization.
Asset Monitoring & Optimization
What is Smart Asset Monitoring & Optimization?
IoT helps companies monitor their assets by attaching sensors that report back on the item’s status and location, allowing for improvements to the company’s processes.
A full-scale IIoT asset monitoring solution is typically comprised of the following four steps:
- Asset tracking.
- Asset health-monitoring.
- Workflow automation.
- Predictive maintenance.
Benefits of Smart Asset Monitoring & Optimization
Asset utilization is expected to account for $2.1T of value over the next ten years. Why? Better asset tracking can:
Examples of Smart Asset Monitoring & Optimization
- Alten Calsoft Labs boasts its IoT remote asset monitoring software provides 24/7 asset visibility.
- Quest’s asset management platform provides real-time asset location, tracking, and monitoring, including RFID tags on pickup trucks to pinpoint specific products when in warehouse or transit.
What is IoT-Enabled Industrial Automation?
Through IoT sensors and AI, IoT devices can perform industry functions that previously required human intervention.
Benefits of IoT-Enabled Industrial Automation
Industrial manufacturers are increasingly relying on automated IoT components to improve efficiency and reduce costs. These automated components can also collect objective performance data and monitor equipment health, allowing for further optimization of the manufacturing process.
Additionally, because the communication between multiple IoT devices is much faster than that between humans, industrial automation systems can streamline processes, eliminate steps, and even create new process architectures.
Examples of IoT-Enabled Industrial Automation
Because the IoT-enabled industrial automation market is so large, many companies have set out to tackle it, including:
What is Smart Energy Management?
Through IoT’s more-granular monitoring abilities, an organization can better understand its energy habits and perform tactical alterations to systems like lighting, room equipment, or heating, ventilation, and air-conditioning (HVAC).
Benefits of Smart Energy Management
By 2020, smart energy management is predicted to account for 60M smart meters, 2.54B smart lights, and 1.53B utility-managed IoT devices. For companies, the clearest benefit of smart energy management comes in the form of reduced utility bills: by one estimation, IoT can save a whopping 25% reduction in operating costs.
An Example of Smart Energy Management
- In 2015, Intel, Tatung and Elitegroup Computer Systems developed what they call the “Smart Building Management System” to provide buildings with energy savings of 8 percent that year and over 20 percent annually from 2016 on.
What is IoT-Enabled Predictive Maintenance?
Predictive maintenance aims to fix machines just before a failure. (Compare it with reactive maintenance, which responds to breakages, and preventative maintenance, which follows a regular maintenance schedule.) IoT-enabled predictive maintenance systems typically use 5 different elements:
- Condition-monitoring hardware.
- Industrial automation hardware.
- Storage & platform.
Benefits of IoT-Enabled Predictive Maintenance
IBM’s Mary Bunzel believes that over 50% of every dollar spent on preventative maintenance is wasted. While this number sounds high, it does align with the data that only 18% of equipment failures are due to age, while 82% of failures occur randomly (as that suggests a severe flaw in time-based maintenance strategies).
According to the U.S. Department of Energy, predictive maintenance would reduce maintenance costs, breakdowns, and downtime for oil & gas companies by 30%, 70%, and 40%, respectively.
IoT-enabled predictive maintenance technology can:
Examples of IoT-Enabled Predictive Maintenance
- Chevron is using an IoT-based predictive maintenance strategy to identify corrosion and pipeline damages.
- ABB’s Ability Ellipse software helps utilities perform predictive maintenance through real-time IoT equipment data to connect mobile workers with analytics.
- The Volvo group has deployed an IoT-based predictive maintenance system that predicts damage to gears and motors, shortening diagnostic times by up to 70 percent and improving repair times by more than 20%.
Supply Chain Optimization
What is Smart Supply Chain Optimization?
An industrial supply chain is a network stretching all the way back from customers, through retailers to distribution centers, warehouses, factories, and suppliers. Many of these communication steps are heavily dependent on email and phone communication between people, and could be made more efficient through IoT.
Benefits of Smart Supply Chain Optimization
Supply chain inefficiencies annually cost businesses nearly $2B annually in the UK alone, with
Cisco estimating IoT supply chain applications to be worth upwards of $1.9T.
IoT provides firms with clearer visibility on the movement of their goods, even down to the precise location at each second, allowing companies to:
Examples of Smart Supply Chain Optimization
Through IoT, many currently invisible assets in the supply chain become visible, including:
The Smart Infrastructure market is expected to grow to $2.5T by 2025 and includes IoT technologies for parking, traffic management, the electrical grid, trash collection, and water management.
What Is Smart Parking?
IoT-enabled smart parking connects IoT sensors at each parking space with a cloud-based server that provides individuals with real-time information about the location of available parking spaces.
Benefits of Smart Parking
In addition to an improved user experience, smart parking creates:
- Less pollution, as individuals will spend less time driving around in search of a spot.
- More-efficient space utilization.
- More pricing precision.
- More precise parking enforcement (such as prioritizing punishment of more harmful acts like parking in red zones over ticketing smaller offenses).
For these reasons and more, it’s being recommended by the North America Smart Cities Council.
Examples of Smart Parking
- PlacePod is an IoT-enabled smart parking sensor that includes a highly accurate magnetic sensing system for vehicle detection.
- Some smart parking systems, like this one, would even allow users to book parking spaces before arrival.
What is Smart Traffic Management?
Smart traffic management systems apply IoT sensors to gather data about traffic patterns and can even change conditions in real time, such as by altering traffic signals to divert vehicles to less-used routes.
Benefits of Smart Traffic Management
In 2016, Traffic congestion cost U.S. drivers almost $300B in wasted time and fuel. In addition to the economic and emotional improvements of improving traffic flow, smart traffic management systems can also help emergency vehicles reach their destination faster.
Examples of Smart Traffic Management
- Kansas City uses TrafficVision’s technology to more effectively detect traffic incidents from its 300 traffic cameras around the city. This software, paired with the IoT cameras, decreased the city’s time to notice issues by 14 minutes.
- Several cities, including Toronto and Miami-Dade, are using IoT camera systems to improve traffic flow in real time, translating to less traffic, less utilization of gasoline, and less pollution.
What is a Smart Grid?
A “power grid” is the network of electrical lines, substations, and more that deliver electricity to homes and businesses. An IoT power grid, known as the “smart grid” adds Internet connectivity to the power grid, allowing for remote monitoring and control of the entire electrical system.
Benefits of a Smart Grid
An IoT-enabled Smart Grid:
- Reduces energy consumption and costs (costing billions, saving trillions).
- Allows for a quicker restoration of electricity after power outages.
- Reduces operations costs for utility companies.
- Helps reduce disaster damage to electrical lines.
Utility companies are already seeing the benefits, with 43% already using the IoT for outage management and a further 24% planning to use it in the next three years.
Examples of a Smart Grid
- EMDI makes smart meters that wirelessly monitor a customer’s power usage on a daily basis. This information is even available on customers’ mobile devices in real time, aiding them in being more energy efficient and lowering the energy bill.
- The U.S. Department of Energy is currently implementing IoT wind turbines, solar cells, and microgrid technologies to upgrade myriad elements of the grid to a smart grid.
What is Smart Trash Collection?
Most non-IoT waste collection companies service containers on a fixed schedule, which is inevitably inefficient because some bins are still nearly empty while others are overflowing. Instead, smart waste solutions can track waste levels and composition through bin sensors to ensure the garbage company services them only when needed. They can also improve route optimization and analytics through technology like RFID tags on bins and trucks.
Benefits of Smart Trash Collection
The smart waste market is expected to grow to over $223.6M by 2025 thanks to IoT’s abilities to:
- Improve customer service.
- Measure accuracy and efficiency for pick-up and delivery.
- Ensure accurate billing.
- Lower communications cost.
- Improve fuel consumption and mileage management.
- Implement new payment programs, such as a weight-based pay-as-you-throw systems.
Examples of Smart Trash Collection
- Cisco and TDC have deployed the City Digital Platform in Denmark, which includes intelligent waste monitoring and SmartBins.
- Toter embeds an RFID tag into the handle of each of its garbage bins. As the bin is delivered to an address, the crew scans its RFID tag to confirm delivery, even logging geographical coordinates of the delivery location.
- Bigbelly’s solar-powered, Internet-connected, self-compacting trash bins have grown to nearly 1,500 customers in 50 countries.
What is Smart Water Management?
Smart water management systems can granularly monitor various metrics (such as pressure, temperature, water level, and flow) across all steps of the water system—from sourcing to reclamation—providing real-time information as well as remote control.
Benefits of Smart Water Management
Smart water management solutions can save utility companies more than $7.1B annually, and cities as much as 20% of their total water cost. The adoption of smart meter devices is therefore growing, with the total market expected to grow to $20.1B by 2021.
Specifically, IoT can improve water management through:
Examples of Smart Water Management
- AT&T and IBM are currently testing IoT sensors to detect temperature, leaks, and water pressure.
- Anglian Water uses IoT systems for smart meters, remote tracking, leakage and pressure management, and water consumption reduction.
The market for smart buildings is expected to grow to $51.4B by 2023, including IoT technologies for air quality, energy efficiency, occupant comfort, security, and predictive maintenance.
What is Smart Air Quality?
IoT can improve building air quality through sensors that monitor the presence of harmful pollutants or organic compounds, then alter the behavior of other Internet-connected systems, such as turning off a building’s HVAC system or switching on a UV air purifier.
This is an example of how a smart air quality system could be structured:
Benefits of Smart Air Quality
Workers are over 100% more efficient when they work from buildings with good indoor environmental quality, so it’s no wonder the global indoor air quality market is expected to grow to $4.6B by 2022.
Poor indoor air quality causes:
- Loss of concentration.
- Nasal irritation.
- Difficult breathing (dyspnea).
Contrariwise, benefits of healthy indoor air include:
- Improved occupant health and wellness.
- Improved productivity and decision-making.
- Optimized building occupancy.
Examples of Smart Air Quality
- eLichens recently released the first high-resolution air pollution map for an entire city.
- Airthinx provides continuous indoor air quality monitoring for businesses, schools, hospitals, residences, and hotels.
- IoT Factory produces a smart indoor air quality monitor that tracks temperature, relative humidity, and CO2 levels in real time.
What is IoT-Enabled Energy Efficiency
IoT strategies for energy efficiency use Internet-connected sensors to detect equipment failure or degradation and make real-time changes from any part of the world.
Benefits of IoT-Enabled Energy Efficiency
The International Energy Association estimates that buildings account for 33% of global energy use (even more than transportation!), and 20% of energy-related greenhouse gas emissions. IoT energy management programs can save between 10% and 25% of energy in mid-sized buildings, providing a return-on-investment in as little as six months.
Upgrading from the utility bill-and-spreadsheet method of improving a building’s energy efficiency, IoT can help:
- Analyze energy consumption more granularly, thereby optimizing equipment settings.
- Track and report the progress of energy-saving initiatives.
- Implement cost-effective strategies to consume more energy during non-peak times.
Broken down by type of building, IoT solutions can decrease energy use by:
- Offices at an average of 18%.
- Retail stores at an average of 14%.
- Hotels at an average of 8%.
- Hospitals at an average of 14%.
Examples of IoT-Enabled Energy Efficiency
- Smappee creates small sensors that clip onto power cords, providing a live feed of appliance energy consumption and the ability to remotely switch items on and off.
- Valve company Belimo recently released a new “energy valve” that provides over 50 different data points on the valve’s performance. An example graph that shows the valve’s energy efficiency can be seen here:
- Most commercial building energy consumption can be attributed to lighting. This is a slam dunk for IoT, where Internet-connected sensors can easily sense human presence, turning on and off lights appropriately.
- An extensive list of smart energy savers exists, including sensors that turn on lights only when people are in a room and switch off electronics overnight.
What is Smart Occupant Comfort?
IoT buildings can monitor comfort-relevant traits like lighting, humidity, and temperature, even allowing individuals to improve them in real time from a mobile device.
Benefits of Smart Occupant Comfort
A proper office temperature helps to improve focus and happiness. Lighting can significantly affect productivity too, and can be improved by smart features like task lighting and daylight harvesting.
Examples of Smart Occupant Comfort
- 75F has developed a suite of applications, such as an HVAC zone system that tailors individual rooms to occupant preferences, and zone heatmaps with automated temperature balancing:
- The Comfy App allows building occupants to change the thermostat from their mobile device, also providing insights from these actions to building operators.
- This paper proposes an automated smart building that calculates individual people’s movements in its conclusions regarding the building’s thermal characteristics.
What is Smart Building Security?
IoT security systems have come a long way from their predecessor CCTV systems. Now, an IoT security system can coordinate multiple elements—cameras, microphones, door locks, facial recognition sensors, even smoke alarms and carbon monoxide detectors—allowing all Internet-connected aspects of a building’s security system to be monitored and adjusted remotely.
Benefits of Smart Building Security
IoT allows building security teams to:
- Monitor who enters and exits a building in real time.
- Monitor the facility from any Internet-connected location.
- Learn of security incidents from their mobile devices.
- Collect and analyze data to improve future security processes.
IoT security systems are also typically cloud-based, so they’re generally quick and easy to install out of the box.
Examples of Smart Building Security
- Vodafone’s cloud-based building security system provides secure surveillance and storage, easily accessible from the web.
- Telit’s IoT security system lets its users manage and control surveillance remotely and collect/analyze data to improve their security processes.
- IoT-powered smart locks offer a secure, keyless solution to providing individuals temporary or restricted access.
What is IoT-Enabled Predictive Maintenance for Buildings?
Predictive maintenance amalgamates information from IoT sensors to understand the state of a building and its equipment, then predict the proper time to perform preemptive maintenance.
An IoT predictive maintenance system is typically comprised of three elements:
- Sensors that monitor building equipment and conditions.
- A data-logging system that aggregates information.
- An interface that provides actionable insights to its users.
Benefits of IoT-Enabled Predictive Maintenance for Buildings
IoT-based predictive maintenance can improve equipment effectiveness by up to 89% and reduce maintenance costs by up to 13%.
Elevators are a stellar example of the power of IoT for predictive maintenance. An IoT elevator may track any number of metrics, including:
- Load weight.
- Safety circuits.
- Wait times.
- Number of door cycles.
- Number of trips.
- Traffic trends.
By monitoring these elements, along with changes in operating conditions (such as friction, noise, and heat), the elevator can automatically predict when it needs maintenance, thereby increasing product reliability, expediting diagnosis, and avoiding downtime.
Examples of IoT-Enabled Predictive Maintenance for Buildings
The wearable smart electronics industry has already surpassed $10 billion, with two-fifths of users saying they feel naked when not wearing their device. IoT wearable applications include wearables for pets, assistive technology, healthcare, sports, and remote controlling.
Wearables for Pets
What are IoT Wearables for Pets?
IoT wearables for pets are typically equipped with a GPS tracker and biometric sensors that log location and behavioral data of four-legged friends.
Benefits of IoT Wearables for Pets
While most animal wearables exclusively track location (to provide their owners with peace of mind), some also track other elements, such as their diet or emotional state, which can be later used to alter animal care.
Examples of IoT Wearables for Pets
- Whistle can classify a dog’s activities and provide actionable advice on how different activities like food and walks affect the dog’s health and well-being. Additionally, its tracker combines GPS and cellular technologies to provide an impressively large 3,000-mile location-tracking radius.
- Trackener specializes in horse tracking, including location, activity, behavior, and health conditions.
Wearables as Assistive Technology
What is IoT Assistive Technology
IoT devices can act as assistive technology by sensing and relaying information to someone who would have been otherwise unable to receive it.
Benefits of IoT Assistive Technology
As assistive technology improves, its data requirements increase. By connecting an assistive technology to the Internet, device manufacturers can take advantage of increased data storage and cloud-based processing speed, therefore finding themselves less limited in the technologies they create.
Examples of IoT Assistive Technology
What are Healthcare Wearables?
Wearable technology can monitor human biometrics, tracking a large amount of information for both individuals and whole populations. Already, IoT wearables track step count, cadence, and speed, with many tackling more nuanced metrics like skin temperature, heart rate variability and sitting posture.
Benefits of Healthcare Wearables
While most IoT wearables – like the Fitbit and Apple Watch – are legally not healthcare devices, they still provide valuable, actionable information on health, and even save lives.
IoT wearables designed with healthcare in mind can be even more impactful, both for individual health and population-wide understanding of disease.
Examples of Healthcare Wearables
- Qardio produces a variety of AI-powered IoT health wearables, including a medical-grade ECG tracker and intelligent armband.
- Propeller Health builds tracking devices attached to inhalers for people who suffer from asthma. It has also released an open API that analyzes information from medication intake and environmental conditions to help predict asthma attacks.
- When paired with Cardiogram’s AI, an Apple Watch can detect hypertension with 82% accuracy, sleep apnea with 90% accuracy, and an abnormal heart rhythm with 97% accuracy.
What are Sports Wearables?
Body-mounted IoT sensors have transformed professional sports through their ability to measure movement in real athletic situations. They can monitor all sorts of data, like position, speed, and vital signs which can be later used to improve future training. Additionally, many of these technologies are seeping down from the pro level to casual or recreational athletes.
Benefits of Sports Wearables
The market for sports wearables is estimated to reach $14.9B by 2021. Wearables have been expediting muscle recovery, detecting asymmetrical running habits, decreasing injuries in professional cricket, and providing real-time data-driven insights to golfers. It might be shorter to list the facets that they haven’t been improving.
Examples of Sports Wearables
- NFL players often wear a chip embedded in their shoulder pads that tracks their location, speed, distance traveled, and vital stats so coaches can adjust their strategies and training going forward. Catapult performs a similar function for many professional sports teams as well.
- ARION and Sensoria Fitness use performance analytics to improve their users’ running technique.
Take control with wearable devices
What is Wearable Remote Controlling?
By connecting a person to all their Internet-connected devices, wearables allow their users to control other devices in their lives. As Analyst Jeff Kagan explains, “The smartwatch will be your remote control for your smartphone. And your smartphone will be your remote control for your life.”
Benefits of Wearable Remote Controlling
The clearest example of a benefit is that of convenience: imagine using a smartwatch to change the TV channel or unlock your car door. The compendium of implementations is wide-ranging – in essence, you’ll be able to control anything with an Internet connection from the wearables on your body.
Examples of Wearable Remote Controlling
The market for Internet-connected vehicle technology is expected to grow to $104B in revenue by 2023. Automotive IoT applications include automated driving, biometrics, infotainment, predictive maintenance, and vehicle-to-vehicle communication.
What is IoT-Enabled Automated Driving?
As cars are increasingly connected to the Internet, they’re gaining greater ability to accelerate, brake, and steer with little or no driver input. These autonomous vehicles typically employ the following Internet-connected components:
- A central computer
- Position sensors
- GPS navigation
- Ultrasonic sensors
- Video cameras
Vehicle automation is typically broken down into five levels:
- Level 0 – No Automation
- All actions are taken by the driver (although the system might be able to alert them of dangers).
- Examples: regular cruise control, object proximity sensors
- Level 1 – Driver Assistance
- The system can automatically accelerate, steer, and/or break in specific situations.
- Examples: adaptive cruise control, lane-keeping assistance
- Level 2 – Partial Automation
- Level 3 – Conditional Automation
- The system drives under specific conditions (e.g. daylight, not raining/snowing, under 35mph).
- For example: Audi A8
- Level 4 – High Automation
- The system drives under normal conditions, passing control to the human only in unusual or difficult driving conditions.
- As yet, no examples exist.
- Level 5 – Full Automation
- Driver intervention is not needed.
- As yet, no examples exist.
Benefits of IoT-Enabled Automated Driving
Autonomous vehicles are expected to provide:
Examples of IoT-Enabled Automated Driving
Many car companies are investing in the autonomous vehicle market:
- GM is investing $3B in self-driving cars.
- BMW plans to have a self-driving car by 2021.
- Audi’s new A8 can drive autonomously up to 60mph, though it requires the driver to remain alert (and monitors them to ensure they’re paying attention).
Non-car related technology companies have shown interest as well, with Google’s autonomous car company Waymo on the verge of commercializing its cars.
What are Automotive Biometrics?
Biometric IoT technology uses physical and behavioral characteristics to recognize specific people and their behaviors. These could include:
- Fingerprint recognition.
- Voice recognition.
- Eye-tracking and position sensors.
Benefits of Automotive Biometrics
For cars, IoT biometrics applications include:
Examples of Automotive Biometrics
- Major automotive companies like Ford, Volkswagen, Mercedes-Benz, and BMW are all working on biometrics technology.
- HYPR has created a product for biometric car authentication.
- Gentext has demonstrated an iris-based authentication system for drivers.
- Harman uses biometric sensors to track eye gaze, head position, and pupil diameter to support seamless handoffs between the driver and the car for its semi-autonomous driving.
What is IoT-Enabled Infotainment?
In-vehicle infotainment is the in-car hardware and software that provides an improved journey to its passengers through navigation and diagnostics as well as entertainment.
Benefits of IoT-Enabled Infotainment
The in-vehicle infotainment market is expected to reach $30.47B by 2022, driven by technological advancements and an increased demand for luxury vehicles.
Infotainment systems can save their users time and effort, like by syncing with a driver’s calendar and traffic conditions to automatically calculate the time and route to their next meeting.
Additionally, while current car entertainment is typically radio or Bluetooth-based, autonomous vehicles free up the driver’s attention, allowing them to watch movies instead of watching the road.
Examples of IoT-Enabled Infotainment
- Apple’s CarPlay provides a familiar iOS experience for in-car infotainment, including its App Store.
- Similarly, Android Auto provides an Android experience, including music streaming through Google Play Music.
- Amazon is also getting into the game by partnering with Ford to bring its popular Alexa virtual assistant to in-vehicle infotainment.
What is IoT-Enabled Vehicle Predictive Maintenance?
IoT can dramatically increase the number of sensors in a vehicle, improving its owner’s ability to keep it running smoothly. This sort of IoT predictive maintenance for vehicles typically works in three steps:
- Collect real-time data via IoT sensors.
- Predict failure using cloud-based data modeling.
- React via maintenance to prevent the item from failing.
Benefits of IoT-Enabled Vehicle Predictive Maintenance
The effects of predictive maintenance:
Source 1: 30–50% | Source 2: 10-20% | Source 3: 70%
Source of graphic as a whole
For automotive IoT applications, predictive maintenance will:
- Lower fuel costs
- Extend vehicle life
- Minimize vehicle downtime
- Reduce maintenance costs
These improvements can sum to impressively large numbers. Vehicle downtime in the trucking industry, for instance, can cost between $450 – $750 per day.
Examples of IoT-Enabled Vehicle Predictive Maintenance
- Volkswagen is partnering with Microsoft to improve its predictive maintenance.
- While not precisely automotive, Caterpillar’s predictive maintenance saves its marine division $30 per hour, which amounts to more than $650,000 per year for its fleet of 50 boats, which should provide some insight into the value for automotive fleets.
While IoT sensors can be applied to many different elements of a car, let’s take the battery as an example. Here’s how an IoT predictive maintenance system could work for a car battery:
- An in-car monitoring system reports updates on the battery’s status.
- This data is transferred to the cloud, where a machine learning algorithm forms a “digital twin” of the battery.
- Using that digital twin, the system predicts points of failure and likely status changes.
- A notification system alerts the battery if and when any dangers become likely.
What is Vehicle-to-Vehicle Communication?
Vehicle-to-vehicle (V2V) communication allows vehicles to share their sensors with the vehicles around them, thereby developing a more detailed and accurate mapping of the world.
Benefits of Vehicle-to-Vehicle Communication
V2V technology’s main aims are improving safety and reducing traffic congestion.
Enhanced V2V communication is predicted to address approximately 80 percent of multi-vehicle crashes (which accounted for 17,164 U.S. fatalities in 2017).
On the traffic side, national congestion costs 5.5 billion hours and $121B in fuel costs and delays. Simple V2V technology can easily fix many congestion issues by ensuring each vehicle accelerates and brakes at an appropriate time, and would reduce congestion in the Orange County Area of California’s Interstate 5 by approximately 20-30%. In the future, more complicated vehicle-to-other (V2X) communication, such as relaying information to traffic lights and speed limit signs, could further improve traffic.
Examples of Vehicle-to-Vehicle Communication
- Kymeta uses global satellites to connect vehicles, and is funded by backers including Bill Gates.
- Autotalks specializes in V2X communication, recognizing the value in communicating with more than just other cars.
The Smart Transportation Market is expected to reach $285B by 2024. IoT applications for Smart Transportation include fleet management, smart trains, drone delivery, public transit management, and end-to-end visibility.
What is IoT-Enabled Fleet Management?
Fleet Management is the coordination between large numbers of vehicles, a practice typically performed through cumbersome logistics, but which could become much more seamless and automated through IoT devices. By adding RFID systems, mobile scanners, and computers, for instance, fleet management systems can know the location and behavior of the different vehicles in their fleet.
Benefits of IoT-Enabled Fleet Management
IoT applications to fleet management will:
- Improve routing efficiency.
- Increase monitoring and restrictive capabilities, such as through the use of geofencing.
- Monitor and prevent aggressive driving (which has both safety and financial benefits).
- Reduce fleet downtime.
- Improve asset management, including a better understanding of the proper number of drivers and vehicles needed.
Examples of IoT-Enabled Fleet Management
- Verizon recently acquired fleet management vendors Telogis and Fleetmatics, presumably to use its wireless network in conjunction with their expertise in fleet management.
- Softweb’s cloud-based IoT fleet management solution can track and manage myriad facets of a fleet, including fuel analytics, route planning, and driving patterns to predict future driving habits and vehicle health.
What are Smart Trains?
IoT’s improvements to trains come in four areas:
- Signaling systems, which control the train by remotely adjusting its speed.
- Interlocking systems, where multiple trains must be coordinated at crossings and junctions.
- Level crossings, wherein trains interact with roads and streets.
- Asset monitoring, which can range from to onboard sensors on trains to preventative maintenance on trains and tracks.
Benefits of Smart Trains
For smart trains, IoT technologies can improve:
Examples of Smart Trains
- Taiwan’s High Speed Rail System employs an advanced predictive maintenance system monitoring over 320,000 elements including trains and tracks. As a result of its success, over 99% of their train arrivals and departures occur with 6 seconds of the scheduled time.
- BNSF railway uses camera, force, acoustic, and infrared sensors to uncover dangers and defects in freight cars.
- In a full year of operation, Siemens’ sixteen IoT-enabled trains running from Moscow to St. Petersburg multiple times every day have experienced a total of only nine delays.
What is Drone Delivery?
Unmanned aerial vehicles called drones, typically in the form of quadcopters, have recently taken off in popularity. Through Internet-connected cameras and remote piloting, as well as recent advances in battery technology, they are gaining the increased ability to transport packages from place to place.
Benefits of Drone Delivery
The drone delivery and logistics market is expected to balloon to $11.2B by 2020. It’s often cheaper than human labor and is forecasted to have positive environmental effects, consuming “less energy per package than delivery trucks.”
Examples of Drone Delivery
Public Transit Management
What is IoT-Enabled Public Transit Management?
Through improved monitoring and communication, IoT is dramatically improving coordination – both within transit systems and between the systems and their customers. IoT applications to public transit systems include:
- Fleet management technologies.
- Real-time vehicle tracking.
- Data aggregation for preventative analytics.
Benefits of IoT-Enabled Public Transit Management
While waiting for a public transit vehicle was previously a guessing game, IoT makes accurate, real-time information available in real time, even allowing re-routing in case of issues. This also allows for additional data to be gathered, which can be beneficial for route planning, calculating return-on-investment, and predictive analytics.
Examples of IoT-Enabled Public Transit Management
- In the Phoenix metro area, Valley Metro is launching a new version of their smartphone app, including features like real-time tracking of trains and buses and the ability to plan trips that include taxis, ride-sharing, and bike-sharing.
- Kajeet has created a next-generation school bus, including student Wi-Fi, GPS, and cameras.
What is End-to-End Transportation Visibility?
By adding Internet-connected sensors, IoT allows individuals to monitor the status of vehicles with a greater granularity on timing and an increased macro understanding of how to fit transportation decisions into strategic goals.
Monitoring devices typically use RFID tags, GPS, Bluetooth Low Energy, or cellular communication protocols for vehicles and the assets they carry, along with syncing to additional context like weather conditions and traffic congestion.
Benefits of End-to-End Transportation Visibility
For business transportation applications, end-to-end visibility facilitates effective, timely decisions that can be used to achieve strategic goals. For consumer applications, this visibility can improve travel calculations by factoring in aspects of a vehicle’s context, from the delay of a bus to local traffic congestion and weather.
Examples of End-to-End Transportation Visibility
- Public transportation users can know the status of various different elements, plotting the whole route from end to end, even including different transportation methods (like Phonex’s Valley Metro does and Google Maps used to).
- Supply chain company Quantiq has created a handy description of what end-to-end transportation visibility for businesses looks like:
The Smart Home market is expected to reach $53.4B by 2022. IoT Smart Home applications include technology for lawns & gardens, bathrooms, kitchens, home automation, and home safety & security.
Smart Lawn/Garden Care
What is Smart Lawn & Garden Care?
Through a combination of horticultural sensors and data analytics paired with machine learning, IoT can monitor plants, make insights and suggestions, and even implement them without user input.
Benefits of Smart Lawn & Garden Care
The American home gardening industry is worth an impressive $41B in annual revenue. IoT applications include:
- Precision watering, which can prevent both deadly over-watering and under-watering, as well as minimizing water waste by monitoring for leaks and syncing with local weather.
- Increased data analytics, including measures for soil humidity, temperature, electrical conductivity, sunlight, and nitrogen levels.
- Plant protection, such as digital scarecrows that automatically shoo away unwanted animals.
Examples of Smart Lawn & Garden Care
- The Automower 315X lawn mower can be started and stopped, scheduled, monitored, and mapped from its user’s mobile phone, even using smart sensors and cameras to achieve a desired grass height.
- The Rachio Smart Sprinkler Controller allows its user to remotely control different watering zones and even knows enough not to water the lawn when it’s raining. It also integrates with Google Assistant and Amazon’s Alexa to accept voice commands.
What are Smart Bathrooms?
Through embedded sensors and Internet-connected apps often paired with voice commands, IoT products can automate common bathroom functions and even add new possibilities.
Benefits of Smart Bathrooms
While most smart bathroom technology increases convenience or entertainment, some applications are targeted at improving health and hygiene.
Examples of Smart Bathrooms
- The smart shower Evadrop boasts the ability to save up to 50% of its users’ water.
- Kohler’s KOHLER Konnect app can control shower heads, shower duration, music, and lighting, even adapting to its user’s preferences and collecting data on water usage.
- Next-gen toilets can diagnose wide-ranging health information, from providing a pregnancy test to noting blood alcohol level or infections.
What is Smart Kitchen Technology?
IoT adds sensors and connectivity to kitchen devices, increasing communication both between kitchen devices and the abilities of the Internet.
Benefits of Smart Kitchen Technology
Smart kitchen technology can:
The implementations are wide-ranging, best explained by examples:
Examples of Smart Kitchen Technology
- Tovala is a smart oven that can scan barcodes to heat a dish to its precise specifications.
- Smart frying pan Pantelligent comes with a helpful app, cooking directions, and even real-time temperature feedback.
- The HAPI fork alerts its user when they’re eating too fast.
- The Smart Plate uses cameras and weight sensors to monitor eating habits and alert its user when they’re overeating. It also connects to health trackers like MyFitnessPal to combine the information with an individual’s exercise behavior.
- Perfect Bake Pro is an app-connected baking scale that ensures its user measures every aspect of a recipe correctly.
- The smart fridge can track the current status of foods and reorder ones that are running low (among other, seemingly endless abilities).
What is Home Automation?
As sensors dramatically decrease in price, homes are accordingly increasing their level of automation, leading to greater applications of IoT technology in:
- Lighting control
- Smart appliances
- Smart switches
- Smart door locks
- Voice assistants
Benefits of Home Automation
Home Automation IoT technology can touch on every aspect of home life, from increased security and entertainment to health, physical mobility, and assisted living. Even many non-obvious areas – like wine cellars and aquariums – benefit from becoming IoT.
Examples of Home Automation
- The Amazon Echo is a Bluetooth speaker that can communicate with other IoT devices through its voice assistant. It can also implement If This Then That for more complicated applications.
- Brilliant Control is a wall switch that allows its users to control lighting, play music, and set thermostat temperatures. It can also interface with other smart home platforms like Sonos, Nest, and Philips Hue.
- The Ecobee4 thermostat uses remote sensors to help reduce hot or cold spots in different rooms. It also implements Amazon’s Alexa, enabling it to play music, shop, and control other smart devices.
Home Safety & Security
What is Smart Home Safety & Security?
By connecting safety & security systems to the Internet, homeowners can monitor their home’s status from anywhere. These applications typically include Internet-connected motion detectors, warning lights, and security cameras, but can also tack on more nuanced applications like IoT smoke detectors and doorbells.
Benefits of Smart Home Safety & Security
At 18% of all home IoT purchases, home security systems are currently the most financially successful IoT applications. They allow homeowners to save money on energy bills, and can even increase a home’s value.
Examples of Smart Home Safety & Security
Safety.com has written a review of the best 2019 home security systems that incorporate different smart home applications from popular security companies.
Healthcare IoT is expected to grow to $117 billion by 2020 and $158 billion by 2022. Smart healthcare applications include IoT technology for remote patient monitoring, telemedicine, drug management, chronic disease management, and hospital asset management.
Remote Patient Monitoring
What is Smart Remote Patient Monitoring?
Through remote sensors, IoT can help provide real-time data on patients at a distance, including biometrics like weight, heart rate, electrocardiogram, blood sugar levels, blood pressure, and blood oxygen levels, allowing for health improvements – even in locations that lack sufficient medical specialists or facilities.
Benefits of Smart Remote Patient Monitoring
Smart remote patient monitoring is expected to reach a market size of $31.3B by 2023. The benefits that it provides to patients include:
Examples of Smart Remote Patient Monitoring
What is IoT-Enabled Telemedicine?
Telemedicine is the process of delivering medical care from a distance, such as through a text-based portal or a phone/video call. When combined with remote patient monitoring, IoT medical sensors can connect patient data to the Internet and doctors to their patients, allowing for diagnoses and medical treatment from a distance.
Benefits of IoT-Enabled Telemedicine
Benefits of IoT-enabled telemedicine include:
For these reasons and more, telehealth is becoming increasingly popular with patients and increasingly promoted by employer-sponsored health plans.
Examples of IoT-Enabled Telemedicine
What is Smart Drug Management?
Through greater medication monitoring and adherence data, IoT can save some of the $290B cost of poor adherence and help to prevent some of the 125,000 deaths and 70% of all hospitalizations caused by improper patient adherence. IoT’s applications to drug management typically come through sensors on medication packages/bottles that prompt patients to take their medication and/or automatically transmit adherence data to doctors.
Benefits of Smart Drug Management
Half of patients in long-term treatment do not adhere to treatment plans, with studies showing that patient adherence improves by 20% if they know their habits are being tracked. Additionally, smart drug management can provide a clearer, more accurate picture of individual health than self-reported data, which can aid doctors in providing proper medical advice.
Examples of Smart Drug Management
- Proteus Discover adds a sensor to each pill that tracks if and when it was swallowed.
- Pillsy markets itself as a “digital assistant for vitamins and medications,” complete with automatic tracking and double-dose alerts.
- AdhereTech’s smart pill bottle can detect when a patient removes a pill. If they miss the proper time, the bottle can light up and jingle or send the patient an automated text message/phone call.
Chronic Disease Management
What is IoT-Enabled Chronic Disease Management?
IoT’s remote monitoring, analytics, and mobile platforms can help patients manage their chronic diseases and report back reliable information to their doctors. Perhaps because chronically ill patients don’t wish to be reminded of their illness, these IoT solutions typically come in the form of automatic monitoring or management that removes the need for a patient to take action.
Benefits of IoT-Enabled Chronic Disease Management
With over half of Americans living with a chronic condition and 75% of U.S. healthcare spending going to the treatment of chronic diseases, the value of IoT-enabled remote monitoring for patients with chronic diseases could amount to $1.1T per year in 2025.
Examples of IoT-Enabled Chronic Disease Management:
- Dexcom makes cloud-connected continuous glucose monitors that can track blood sugar trends and send alerts to medical personnel and family members in emergency situations.
- Google X has applied for a patent for their blood glucose-monitoring smart contact lens.
- Health Net Connect’s telemedicine-based smart healthcare system has been shown to improve metrics that equate to an annual patient savings of approximately $8,600 and a 35% decrease in the likelihood of coronary heart disease.
Hospital Asset Management
What is Smart Hospital Asset Management?
Hospital asset management involves tracking a hospital’s physical assets, including supplies, infrastructure, medical equipment, and even physicians, staff, and patients. Through IoT monitoring devices like RFID tags, the hospital can more precisely and reliably know the location and status of these valuable assets.
Benefits of Smart Hospital Asset Management
IoT in hospital asset management is expected to provide at least a 25% reduction in healthcare costs. These savings come from:
Additionally, RFID tags in ID cards can help locate staff, ensuring proper personnel presence during emergencies.
An example of an IoT-enabled hospital ecosystem:
An Example of Smart Hospital Asset Management
Santa Casa de Valinhos in Brazil has implemented an IoT asset management system to identify and locate equipment in its intensive care unit, including electrocardiograph machines, infusion pumps, and cardiac monitors. The system has streamlined audits and prevented thefts while reducing operating costs. As the hospital’s superintendent puts it: “IoT technologies, when well applied, are a great support.”
IoT is changing every industry. If you haven’t yet considered how IoT will change yours, it’s time to start.